The mother of the White Island volcano eruption reveals joy at the fact that her daughter is home for a day
Stephanie Browitt, 23, suffered third-degree burns on 70 percent of her body
The mother of a survivor of the White Island volcano disaster revealed her joy after taking her daughter out of the hospital for a day.
Stephanie Browitt, 23, from Melbourne, was with her father Paul and sister Krystal, 21, off the coast of Whakatane in New Zealand when the volcano erupted on December 9.
After six months of hospital treatment for her third-degree burns, Ms. Browitt had finally approved her day off.
Her mother, Marie, said her daughter’s visit “brought life back home.”
“Stephanie’s visit was great and brought life back home, the blinds went up for the first time and I cried when the patient transported her back to the hospital,” Ms. Browitt told the Herald Sun..
“There was the sound of family in a house again for a few hours. It’s torture without a girl and her father and I can’t wait for Stephanie to return [permanently] House.’
Ms. Browitt said her daughter has a long way to go to recover from burns affecting 70 percent of her body.
The 23-year-old also shared a heartwarming message about reuniting with the dog she and her sister shared when she returned home that day.
“So after almost six months in the hospital and certainly more than six months since I saw my fur baby, I finally got permission for day leave,” she wrote on Instagram.
‘On the 1st birthday of my beautiful baby !!! And to say I got my dog’s best welcome back hug and hugs is honestly an understatement!
Ms. Browitt’s mother, Marie, said her daughter’s visit “ brought life back home ”
Ms. Browitt said it is torture without her other daughter Krystal (pictured together) and husband Paul
After six months of hospital treatment for her third-degree burns, Ms. Browitt had finally approved her day off. Shown with her dog Arlo
“Mom had to try to avoid jumping on me so I wouldn’t get clapped (she failed miserably and I honestly didn’t care lol).
“But it couldn’t have been better today and it felt great to be back home, if only for a day.”
The family of four was a group of 38 people on board the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Ovation of the Seas that set out to explore the Bay of Plenty region, but Ms. Browitt stayed on the ship.
The body of Ms. Browitt’s sister, Krystal (pictured left), was not found after the eruption
It was 2 p.m. when Mrs. Browitt and her father noticed ashes sputtering in the air on the way back to the boat.
Her father encouraged Krystal to take a photo, and then the group heard their guide Hayden shout “run,” Ms. Browitt told Four Corners.
Before Mrs. Browitt was able to put on her respirator, she was struck by the blinding acid ash cloud.
On her leave, Ms. Browitt returned home in time for her dog’s first birthday
Krystal Browitt (left) and her sister Stephanie (right) are in the photo together. Krystal didn’t survive the White Island eruption
“I just got knocked over. I tumbled, rolled for minutes. I mean, it felt like forever until it stopped and then it was just hot, “she said.
“I remember trying to get up and it took so much energy to get up. I remember thinking, I can’t believe how hard this is. My legs just felt like jelly. ‘
She was eventually able to take to the water with a group of others affected by the earthquakes.
“Everyone was just lying on the floor. There was one person lying flat on their stomach, just spread out, screaming in pain, another person screaming for help, “she recalled.
The White Island volcanic eruption is depicted from above as an ash cloud shoots into the sky
A tour helicopter whose rotors were destroyed in the December 9 volcano eruption of the White Island in New Zealand
The wounded group waited for an hour for help, and Mrs. Browitt would hear her father call her name every 15 minutes to make sure she was still alive.
Pilot Mark Law of the aviation tour company Kahu Helicopters had seen the eruption from the mainland and decided to fly to the island to provide relief.
Moments later, another helicopter piloted by Jason Hill and Tom Storey arrived on the scene and began transporting the severely injured from the island.
Mrs. Browitt’s father told the rescue workers to take his daughter with him first. He was left behind and eventually died in the hospital four weeks later.
To this day, Ms. Browitt and her mother still do not know what happened to Krystal, whose body has not yet been found.
A tour operator on White Island rescues people from the island just minutes after it erupted
The families on board the cruise ship said they had not been warned of any risks before traveling to the volcano location.
They claim they just got the travel book with two lines about their visit to White Island.
Passengers and family members affected by the tragedy are now taking legal action over the case in Australia, arguing that the cruise line acted negligently.
“It was completely preventable. It should not have happened ‘, says lawyer Rita Yousef of Stacks Goudkamp.
“It has had an incredibly horrifying impact. People have lost loved ones. They had to see that they were completely burned in the hospital, completely unrecognizable from their horrific burns, and that people had to pick up the pieces somehow. ‘
Of the 21 killed, 19 were aboard the Ovations of the Seas cruise ship (pictured) and booked to explore the island with Royal Caribbean
Ms. Browitt said she is grateful that she is still alive, despite her horrific injuries.
“I agreed and I am totally happy knowing that I am thankful that I live … I am thankful for Mommy that I can be here for her and she can be here for me, that we have each other . ‘
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said that guests of Ovation of the Seas had an organized tour that was owned and operated by a local company independent of Royal Caribbean.
After the eruption, Royal Caribbean has focused on providing care and support to passengers, their families and crew affected by this event. Our thoughts remain with the victims and their families, ”said the spokesman.
“The details of the tour are the subject of two separate studies in New Zealand on which we will fully cooperate and we cannot provide further details at this time.”